Are you chasing a dream that doesn't belong to you? And who does it belong to? A parent, your spouse, or maybe you, from years gone by? I see this predicament quite often. It shows up as lazy and unmotivated, unsatisfied and burnt-out. This is how my clients will present themselves, “If I was just more disciplined and motivated then I would achieve x,y,z, then I'll be happy.”
It's easy to chase dreams that don't belong to us; we're fed a continuous diet of glitz and glam, celebrity and reality TV and so it goes. It can be difficult to see where our hopes and dreams lie, and where the world’s propaganda lies. It almost seems abnormal to not want it all; to not be striving constantly in the hopes of reaching the pinnacle of all that is, as determined by others. But I don't want that, just to want that, and I hope, neither do you. What if your dream became aligned with what you really long to experience and feel and embrace each day?
Well for starters, you might take steps, follow-through and find energy you didn't know you had. You might enjoy going to work and learning and taking risks. You might feel more connected to yourself and in-love with who you are and the life you are living. You might feel more purposeful and inspired and you might begin to live the dream, here and now.
“If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.” ~ Anna Quindlen
HERE'S HOW YOU DO IT:
1. THINK WITH THE END IN MIND: This is your life and eventually, it'll come to an end. Other’s ideas can be a resource, but it'll be you that lives the consequences of your choices, each and every day. What do you want to be able to say about your life? What do you want to feel and experience?
HOW: Write your eulogy. If you were to describe your life, what would you most want to say about it? Of what were you most proud and satisfied? What brought you great joy? How did you handle difficulty and challenges?
2. INCREASE SELF-AWARENESS: Get to know yourself, what makes you tick, what you like, what's getting in the way. Play with ideas, try and experiment.
HOW: Have fun, try new things, and revisit childhood interest and hopes. Emulate others whose lives you admire. And for the love all that is, turn off, unplug and get quiet long enough to hear the answer.
3. EXCUSE YOU: Pay attention to excuses. Where there's an abundance of excuses, there's usually a deep desire, married with fear, which results in inaction. Tricky little buggers - excuses. Change your beliefs, challenge them and recognize them for what they are.
HOW: Take responsibly for your life. Recognize excuses as fear and not the truth. Get support, create structure and follow a plan to move you towards your goals and dreams. Get assistance and learn how to handle the voices that want you stay comfortable and locked into old patterns.
4. CREATE BOUNDARIES: Yes, all your sisters are teachers, your brother is saving the world, and so and so next door is writing novel. Bravo to them and hopefully it's purpose creating and life enhancing, for them … but when Mom and Grandma and best friend, insist that they know what you should be doing, criticize your choices or beg you to “give it a try”, when it's clear that you can talk to children about as well as can speak Italian or you're just trying to save yourself, and writing a grocery list is a feat, then their suggestions must be quelled, once and for all.
HOW: Speak your mind, share your truth and thank them for caring. Do it often and be consistent with repeat offenders. You must stand up for you, so that your dream is given a voice and a place of honour.
5. TAKE ACTION: Dreaming can only take you so far. Take a step, a leap and make a stand. Do it consistently and then change course, adapt and reevaluate as needed, but keep moving.
HOW: Create the vision, feel it and believe it, but remain present because your future, your dream, is happening here and now and exists in every choice you commit to, every boundary you create and every action you take - today.